Demi Lovato says her rape during Disney years was ‘completely swept under the rug’

Musician has spoken openly about her traumatic experiences growing up in the spotlight

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 29 March 2021 09:13 BST
Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil trailer
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Demi Lovato has claimed her rape was “completely swept under the rug”, after she was allegedly attacked while working for the Disney Channel in the late 2000s.

The musician has spoken openly of her traumatic experiences while in the spotlight in her new documentary, Dancing with the Devil, which is out now on YouTube.

One of the most disturbing revelations from the documentary was when Lovato claimed she lost her virginity in a rape by someone in the same industry as her. She did not reveal the name of her rapist.

Speaking toThe Sunday Times, Lovato said the assault was “swept under the rug” when she told “somebody of power” about it.

“Nothing was done about it,” she said. “That person was still in that movie.”

Lovato said it was only when the #MeToo movement became popularised in 2017 that “I realised, oh my gosh, this happens in the industry all the time”. The Independent has contacted Disney for comment.

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Also in the documentary, Lovato said she was she was “left for dead” by her drug dealer after he raped her during an overdose. She said that she saw him during a one-time relapse, following a stay in a treatment facility in an effort to assert control.

She addressed this in the Sunday Times interview, using the term “trauma re-enactment” to explain how she felt compelled to try and “kind of correct the situation… because if I was the one in control, then I was fixing it.”

“Which obviously isn’t the case,” she continued. “What happened still happened. And this is not going to make it any better.”

Lovato is releasing her new album, also titled Dancing with the Devil, on 2 April.

If you’ve been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support:

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